The NPG Journal: Vol. 1, No.7 - 02/10/07
A Bi-Weekly Commentary on Population and Immigration Issues
Presented by Negative Population Growth, Inc.
Binational Regions?: A Boom for Bankers
Protecting North Carolina's Quality of Life
Straining the Ecosystem
COMMENTARY: by NPG President Donald Mann
With all the focus on 2008 presidential politics so early in the game, it may be wishful thinking that we will actually see months and months of informative and insightful debate on critical issues facing our nation rather than a daily barrage of never-ending attacks.
The real advantage in this contest should go to the candidate that steps forward and tells us directly how he or she will solve America's most critical problems- including immigration. To hide under the guise of being on a "listening tour" or "information gathering campaign" to find out "what is on the minds of Americans" is simply a giant ruse to avoid taking a stance. If someone doesn't have a clear-set idea on such a major issue as immigration reform by this point in their political career, they certainly should not be in the race for the White House. It is up to the national media to expose this charade among candidates who want to bask in the national limelight but avoid the tough questions. And it is up to voters to stop being taken as fools by candidates who won't give a direct answer to a simple question such as: "Do you support citizenship for illegal immigrants?"
As a non-profit organization, Negative Population Growth cannot and does not get involved in political campaigns. However as part of our educational mission we constantly call on elected officials from the White House on down to show us real leadership - especially in resolving the growing immigration crisis that is doing great harm to our nation and will greatly impact our future if not properly resolved.
"BINATIONAL REGIONS":A BOOM FOR BANKERS
There's a new geographic phrase popping up in the media and other areas in recent months that does not bode well for America's sovereignty.
"Binational region" is a term that has its roots in the North American Free Trade Agreement of the 1990's but is starting to become very familiar to people living along the U.S.-Mexican border. And if you are a banker these days, it's the place to set up shop.
A recent Associated Press article focused on the aggressive efforts by many banks to tap into the billions of dollars being funneled into the Rio Grande Valley by an economic boom that seems to have no end in sight. Cross-border banking, where customers can write checks, get a mortgage or deposit or withdraw money at branches or ATM's in either the U.S. or Mexico, is now a reality.
The article notes that "deposits in the valley have more than doubled to about $10.2 billion between 1994 and 2004" and smart bankers are setting up shop. Banorte, one of Mexico's largest banks just took over local Inter National Bank in McAllen, TX and is the first Mexican financial institution to offer branch access in the United States. Texas State Bank with offices all over the Lone Star State has recently been taken over by Spain's second largest bank which also owns one of Mexico's giant banks. The honey attracting all the banking bees is a population boom. "About 1.4 million people are expected to be living in the area by 2010, a 40 percent increase since the 2000 Census" according to the AP. The story also noted, "Everywhere there are new highways, new subdivisions, new strip malls, new government complexes and new schools." Click on the link above for the full story.
POTECTING NORTH CAROLINA'S QUALITY OF LIFE
You can rest assured that many folks in the Tar Heel State celebrated when North Carolina made it onto the list of "The Ten Most Populous States." The politicians see the rising population numbers as more votes and more tax dollars. And developers see record economic and population growth as a dream come true - one that will deliver countless riches for decades on end.
What's to become of the state's rich treasure of natural resources that boost tourism and makes for such a great quality of life? That's a big question that's still up in the air. According to a recent story in the News-Record of Greensboro, NC, state officials are facing a dilemma as to how to fulfill a General Assembly initiative from a few years ago to preserve 1 million acres of open space by 2009. The paper found that only 400,000 acres have thus far been preserved.
The delay it seems has its roots in good intentions coming smack up against reality - the money isn't there. Land prices are getting steeper and there is "still the politically delicate dilemma of how to fund such an initiative with so many other needs, such as education and health care, vying for attention."
The News-Record article cited estimates that "approximately 400 acres of open space is lost to development per day and it is losing its farmland at a faster clip than every other state except Ohio and Texas." It noted that "what once had been taken for granted could be lost to future generations."
What does the future hold? With luck, preservation advocates and concerned citizens can pressure legislators to put a general obligation bond on the ballot so the funds will be available soon - before it is too late. If they fail, the News-Record summed up the possible outcome by stating: "Without a thoughtful plan and a serious commitment to preserving some of its open spaces, the state will continue to cut, clear and pave over farmland and forests." That would be a tradgedy. NPG urges all North Carolina residents to speak up on this issue and put the pressure on the legislature to fulfill its promise. Click on the link above for the full story.
STRAINING THE ECOSYSTEM
Every once in a while it is good to read a story that delivers the facts and places the blame right where it's needed - on humans.
Ben Bova's recent article in the Bonita Daily News in Bonita Springs, FL is a great, short condensed piece about all the harm we humans are doing in destroying other species as we expand our numbers and our habitats. From deep sea fish to dwindling numbers of apes to tropical rain forests, man is greedily and selfishly living for today with no consideration of our impact on the future. As Bova puts it, "we humans are putting unbearable pressures on almost every other species on the planet. We kill them for food or decorations. We invade their habitats to build villages or shopping malls. We are destroying the diversity that is vital to a healthy environment."
NPG members can surely embrace Bova's solid thinking when he states, "Human numbers are constantly expanding, about a quarter of a million babies every day"To feed and house and clothe our growing numbers we are putting intolerable strains on the other creatures with whom we share this planet.? Click on the link above for the full story.
POPULATION AND IMMIGRATION NEWS NOTES
BY 2008 MOST PEOPLE THROUGHOUT WORLD WILL LIVE IN CITIES
United Nations researchers and other experts are looking at 2008 as being a very transitional year for world population. It will mark the first time in history that more people on our planet live in cities rather than in rural areas. Africa and Asia are feeling the brunt of this major demographic shift that has been in the making for decades. Such concentrations of population have already resulted in 22 "megacities" where populations are at 10 million and could grow to more than 20 million as soon as 2015. According to Worldwatch Institute's recently-released annual "State of the World" report: "Unplanned and chaotic urbanization is taking a huge toll on human health and the quality of the environment, contributing to social, ecological and economic instability in many countries."
THE POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF TODAY'S POPULATION SHIFT
Politics is an ever-changing business and no one can easily predict what's to come in the next election. However, most political analysts today will agree that it takes a major political correction to change long-standing voting habits. That is why Don Lambro of The Washington Times is probably on target when he noted in a recent article that, "Ongoing population shifts from the North to the Sun Belt states will benefit Republicans more than Democrats in future House elections and could enlarge the Republican Party's electoral count in presidential elections." Lambro notes that the Democrats have gained a number of House seats in the Northeast and parts of the South and Southwest but "the size of the migration by the end of this decade likely will give the edge to Republicans."
According to the forecasts, states that will lose one House seat will probably include: Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa and Louisiana. Those seats will shift to: Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Texas (which should gain two seats). The number of House seats will not be set until after the 2010 census.
The caveat to counting the population shift as helping the Republicans came from political analyst Rhodes Cook who stated, "We don?t really know the demographics that are driving the in-and-out migration in these states. Some of them could be more affluent white conservatives, but they might be Hispanics who tend to vote more Democratic."
PIZZA CHAIN ACCEPTS MEXICAN PESOS
A Dallas-based pizza chain that caters to the Mexican community began accepting Mexican pesos in all its 59 stores this month. The owner of Pizza Patron stated he thinks his is the first major business that offers such a service in such a wide-variety of outlets far from the Rio Grande. Franchises for the chain operate in five states: Texas, Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado.
Washington Times editorial 1/17/07 on the push by county officials for a tax-payer financed day-labor center for illegal immigrants in Washington's neighboring Montgomery County.
"At root, they serve to enlist local government as a collaborator in the breaking of federal immigration law. They mean taxpayer largesse for illegal aliens who circumvent the law and free service for the scofflaw business owners too cheap to hire legal immigrants. This is reprehensible, and reason enough to oppose it. The nation's current illegal-alien conundrum may be the fault of the federal government lead by an open-borders White House and a weak-willed Congress - we certainly think it is - but that doesn't absolve states and localities of the duty to honor federal legal strictures."
WHY THE NPG JOURNAL?
The NPG Journal (offered free to all recipients) exists to give more widespread distribution to timely news stories and articles related to population, immigration, environmental and political issues that currently affect our daily life -- or have the potential to seriously impact our future. NPG President Donald Mann offer his personal insight and commentary on individual stories, especially those that challenge, confirm and/or complement our NPG Research and Forum Papers. The goal of the NPG Journal is to greatly expand NPG's educational mission. As NPG celebrates its 35th Anniversary we continue to emphasize the need for Americans to speak up on population issues and keep our nation -- especially our elected leaders on the national, state and local level - focused on taking action to help resolve today's immigration crisis and work to halt, and eventually reverse America's out-of-control population growth.
We welcome your feedback to articles posted on the NPG Journal and urge you to forward us the e-mail address of friends you think would like to receive a complimentary copy of the NPG Journal on a bi-weekly basis. Contact us at www.npg.org.
Negative Population Growth, Inc. (NPG) is a national nonprofit membership organization with over 30,000 members nationwide. It was founded in 1972 to educate the American public and political leaders about the devastating effects of overpopulation on our environment, resources, and standard of living. We believe that our nation is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-range carrying capacity of its resources and environment